Viper Squad Ten
We're from the future. And we're stuck....
......VSX......                                                                                                              ......Been a little bit quiet lately......                                                                                                                                                                    

VSX, A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist: Starbuck Powersurge - a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of Viper Squad Ten, a long-disbanded group of stranded timetravelling troubadours, formed to help finance repairs to their time-machine. Now very much stuck in C21...

Sometimes guest editors: Mr Stu and DJ Tim.

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All text is copyright the Viper Squad Ten blog team 2003-2006 unless otherwise quoted or credited. If we've not credited you properly, please let me know. Throw us a link if you're desperate enough to use this guff...

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[ Wednesday, June 29, 2005 ]

Google video
Starbuck [17:51] Comments: 0 []
There is hope...

"Hormone Hell" - that musical masterpiece of raw ironic horror starring yours truly as a bearded gay transvestite intent who saves the world from the evil machinations of perverted scientist Arthur Lymph - might one day end up on the web after all!

Held back by a lack of free web-hosting, bandwidth and technical talent, it has too long lain dormant, existing solely within the nightmares of those unfortunate enough to have been exposed to it. Oh, and on a battered video tape.

But thanks to the announcement of , you the web-viewer may soon be quaking with fear and laughter as well, with minimum effort or cost on my behalf...

Gouranga my friends!
Starbuck [15:33] Comments: 0 []
Call out Gouranga be happy!!!
Gouranga Gouranga Gouranga ....
That which brings the highest happiness!!

I'm not one of these people who are swept away by anything they're told in every unsolicited pieceashite spam email they receive at work, especially if a bit of research reveals it may either be associated with some crackpot cult (something to do with rabbits and Channel 4 newsreaders as far as I can make out) or alternatively a very subliminal piece of viral marketing.

But, hey, sometimes - whether by accident or design - research can pay off. Free download of Grand Theft Auto 2 anyone? Cheers, "Neateye" aka

Gouranga Gouranga Gouranga....

[ Monday, June 27, 2005 ]

Letters Play
Starbuck [17:39] Comments: 3 []
When you've got too much administration pending at work and at home, what could be more constructive than shifting a bunch of letters across your screen.

And when the weather's getting hot at home it's nice to pay regular beer visits to the fridge.

So why not combine the two right here in your internet browser, with a virtual fridge magnet simulator! Its verily an MMOFMS!

It's much less peaceful than it sounds, 'cos there'll be up to 49 other worldwide-geeks moving the letters around the fridge door at the same time, and much of the time it turns out like some hardcore deathmatch.

Still, it's strangely heartening when people try to "help" you in what you're attempting to write, and you somehow connect when a bunch of you somehow decide to create something artistic.

But most of the time you'll find yourself slapping down unusual swear words. Get thee to the Profanisaurus! Ahh, I cherish having the sophisticated mind of a thirtysomething....

(There's also a Scratchpad where you'll find people drawing mishapen phalli!)

[ Friday, June 24, 2005 ]

Primal fear
Starbuck [10:16] Comments: 0 []
It's funny the things that get us human beings pumping Adrenaline.

I had to sprint to my car this morning soundtracked by mighty cracks of thunder, as a true Matrix Revolutions-style downpour was building in power, scouring the Midlands of dust. Pulling away from the kerb, the road a torrent of water, my car sluicing through the run-off like a jetski cutting through a swell.

What a rush. It reminded me of The Box webgame, something that on the face of it shouldn't be exciting but works on the most primeval level - keeping your quadrilateral avatar away from the ever-growing series of "enemy" boxes guided by the simplest of pathfinding routines. Being just a breath away from "danger", its the same rush as tig (or tag).

[ Monday, June 20, 2005 ]

Shaft and shift
Starbuck [20:22] Comments: 0 []
You are currently on hold. If you have a touchtone keyboard, please feel free to try one of the following webgames whilst you are awaiting meaningful editorial from your wedding adviser. Your attention is much appreciated.

Shift by WhiteKiwi Games. Sumptuous.

And at the other end of the webgame spectrum, Shaft by Gamesgamesgames. Simple.

[ Thursday, June 16, 2005 ]

Bad Wolf and the Daleks
Starbuck [20:40] Comments: 3 []
Those of you sensible enough to be watching the new Dr Who will have been intrigued by the thus-far-incomprehensible "bad wolf" clues that have been running throughout the series.

Today I bring you exclusive pictures revealing ahead of Saturday's season climax just what is the meaning of Bad Wolf...

Seriously though, may a thousand curses rain down on BBC Radio 1 for spoiling the ending of this remarkable series, their "Entertainment journo" telling millions of us driving home from work exactly what will happen at the end of The Parting Of The Ways on Saturday. Gits.

And scarily, talking of subliminal "bad wolf" style messages, this evening the vehicle that I parked my car in front of had "J79 VSX" written on the registration plate... it all fits into place - Viper Squad X... timetravel... THERE MUST BE SOMETHING CONTROLLING MY LIFE!

Friday Update: Official word on Bad Wolf HERE.

Bad language
Starbuck [13:50] Comments: 2 []
I've been letting steam evaporate from my keyboard recently over a few petty annoyances, however there's something one annoyance that scalds like a muddyfunker.

It is the entirely unneccesary use of the phrase "I mean" as a conjoining device at the start of any sentence, used to repeat exactly what the speaker has just expressed with the aim of boring it into your mind.

It's a nasty mind-control trick and everyone is doing. I mean, you turn on the television, and you'll see Tony Blair saying it every other sentence (and Blair is the one that I blame for the now-epidemic levels of dissemination), you'll see newsreaders saying it, anyone with a mouth. I'd thought it was purely a UK thing but then I heard some American lawmaker using it. Listen to your family, friends and colleagues, and they'll all inadvertently use it.

It's horribly viral - somewhere within our brains it is decided that a statement needs more gravitas, that the listener might think that everything that is usually spoken is utterly unimportant but that THIS THING really should be taken on board, and before we know it, it just pops out of our mouths. It's so deeply ingrained that its now as autonomic as blinking for a large swathe of the Western world.

I mean, I do it myself just as much as all these other languaddicts - I'm not being superior or elitist. And I hate myself for it the moment I say it. Sometimes I get half way though the phrase - "I mea..." and then stop, unable to say anything further, mind caught mid-stutter.

Perhaps it's evident that we all talk way too much without thinking things through. We're so desperate to have our own way that we spit out our selfish needs rather than contemplate what's best. Or maybe we all feel that we need to shout just a little bit louder to be heard above the rest of the static. Whatever, its the hardening of attitudes and the polarisation of politics that has brought us to this.

Or maybe I'm just rattling on too much. Know what I mean?

[ Wednesday, June 15, 2005 ]

The God Squad
Starbuck [19:14] Comments: 2 []
Today at lunchtime I was approached by a couple of members of a self-confessed Christian group, and asked whether I would be happy to answer a few questions from their survey. After a few seconds thought I declined as I was enjoying a shami kebab and the newspaper at the time.

I immediately started to regret missing my chance to provide some "counter-evangelism" to support my side of the faith balance, figuring that those who might agree to answer would be quite charged-up on God already. I wanted to help put across how contented a life based purely on those (God-given!) attributes of thought, knowledge and moral humanity can be. And I've thought long and hard about the evolutionary reasons for the persistence of our propensity for belief - Darwin roolz and all that. However I thought I'd look slightly sad chasing after them shouting "Stop, I absolutely must have my say!"

Lo and behold, five minutes later, another small group of Xians appeared, and this time I willingly answered their questionnaire, and aside from the awkward moment when one of them offered up some some reading material about the Gospels (despite me being a self-confessed absolute zero non-believer), it appeared to be a thoroughly pleasant experience for all.

God really does move in mysterious ways!

[ Monday, June 13, 2005 ]

Fat neck
Starbuck [21:52] Comments: 6 []
Ugh! The curse set in just days after removing my Dead Skin Watch. A red raw, weeping band of raw inflamed flesh for a neck, agonous irritation in the extreme. I was more red-neck than Cotton-Eyed Joe this weekend. And today, I'm shedding my neck-skin like a snake.

It's like I've been sunburnt overnight, Close Enounters style. Or maybe that jellyfish sting from Samui has been repeating on me. Perhaps I'm suffering some psychosomatic nervous-allergic reaction in response to my terrible procastination concerning writing about my wedding/honeymoon report. Or more likely it's the Vanish fabric-washing agent.

More soon, voyeurists.

[ Thursday, June 09, 2005 ]

Sounding bored
Starbuck [18:50] Comments: 2 []
Thanks to Stu for keeping the blog engine running whilst I recovered from the strain of remembering our wedding disco playlist.

And to stall you all just a little bit more before I report "for real" on the Biggest Day Of My Life, here's just a few stoopid little things that have crept into my head between shutting down my computer at work and returning to Chez Powersurge.
- - - - - - - - - -
One) Diverting my office phone to voicemail involves a sequence of button presses culminating in the 5-digit voicemail number. I do this many times, day in day out. And it drives me mad.

The reason - the key-tones sound just like the "I like the way you move" bit from that OutKast song. It makes me want to resign. Last year I was moaning on these pages about Windows XP sounding like Simply Red. This is much worse.

- - - - - - - - - -
Two) I've also written about my Dead Skin Watch before. Well, it's finally died. And because the keratinocytes that have been sloughed away from my sweaty epidermis over the years had now tightly fused with both the metal and the military-style webbing strap, there wasn't much chance of getting it's battery replaced without difficulty or embarrassment. Therefore I decided to pop into Argos to replace it with an identical Lorus Gents LumiBrite quartz watch.

Identical in every way, except that the sound of it's ticking is noticeably louder. It's beginning to get to me a bit. What the hell is all that about? They must've done it on purpose, but why?

- - - - - - - - - -
Three) I heard a song on the radio by by someone who I think Scott Mills said was "BMV". It was a so-so slice of rap music, but the lyrics starting sparking off activity in some highly annoying synaptic backwaters. If I remember correctly the words were "rock your body like check one two", which, of course, filled my internal jukebox with "Hey Mona" by Craig McLachlan's shortlived musical travesty Check 1/2. Yes, that Craig McLachlan (aka McLaughlin aka McLauhglan according to the wonderful worldwide web). Henry From Neighbours Craig McLachlan. Ed From BUGS Craig McLachlan. And thanks to Craig's official website, which may be short on content (obviously Craig's taking time out from the limelight right now), but has still pointed me in the direction of my next most-wanted DVD set, something for anyone wanting to get me a post-wedding pressie - the complete 4 series of Bugs. So thanks, Craig.

Beware, incidentally, of Google searching for "rock your body like check one two" - I've never seen such a suspect index of dodgy software cracks, password hack dictionary lists, and some extremely nasty-sounding sites that really shouldn't exist in a civilised world.

In a civilised world, however, I wouldn't be absorbing myself in the petty annoyances to hide from the badness...

But enough talk of worldly badness, I'm off to bathe in newly-wedded bliss (dinner's ready!)

[ Monday, June 06, 2005 ]

***Sub-editor Posting Alert***
Stuart [13:59] Comments: 4 []
I've been asked by Starbuck to write stuff, and have so far failed admirably in doing so. It takes me a while to get my juices flowing (as will be attested to by any number of... no, that's not right) so I thought I'd limber up with some of favourite things. Reviews. In no particular order...


Really very good and better than it could have been. LOADS better. Lot more structured than The Fragile (i.e. Trent didn't dump loads of half finished recordings on Moulder's doorstep asking him to make it into an album), lots more vocal tracks, more throwaway than Downward Spiral (but what isn't) and sounds a bit like Garbage in places. Which may not be great. Looking forward to seeing them twice at brixton! (that's not part of the review, that's me showing off and being far too excitable about NIN at my advancing years)


Haven't heard it yet, but I guarantee it will be rubbish and disappointing on the first few listens and will by the end of next week be the best album, ever. Never has greatest been so predictable and boring.


Arghh huge problems with this one. Went in far too excited, came out far too disappointed (and tired, as i saw a midnight show on the day of release before going off on holiday). So I need to see it again to make sure, which is what apologists say about films that just aren't any good. Damn.


Good, not great. Bit unnecessary (its existence I mean) and random (even by their standards). Saw it on Saturday and one of the audience was laughing and talking to the screen as if the characters could hear him (e.g. Geoff farts, and he shouts "oh NOOO, Geoff!") Some very nasty bits, which we all like, and some nice little touchs (Soho square for instance) and a great beginning.

Er... is that it? Yeah. In other news, music is great and life is good.

Over and out.


[ Sunday, June 05, 2005 ]

Starbuck's suggested wedding disco set
Starbuck [16:46] Comments: 4 []
I'm still struggling to find the precious time to report on myself and Mrs Powersurge's recent wedding extravaganze. However in the meantime, I feel that I should help recreate that wonderful day for those of you wonderful people who were unable to attend (or weren't bleedin' invited!). And this sort of filler is a nice way of keeping the day alive for myself as well.

So hot on the heels of the transcript of my wedding speech there now follows... a short list of some of the tunes that we danced the night away to! We'd provided this list to our DJ Franko and, bless, he reckoned he'd got 80% of the stuff. Thankfully he used his good taste to leave some of it well alone and to supplement the list with music as advised by his huge wealth of experience. But still, since much of it had been pre-requested by our guests (who obviously have much worse taste than myself!) he still played most of the tack therein... and somehow IT WORKED!

If you've got any of these tracks as you read this then pop them on your player, grab a glass of alcoholic beverage and some chicken pieces, and imagine that you're there with us. Aside from during The Shamen. No-one can hold their own on the dancefloor when I'm dancing to Ebeneezer Goode...

Abba - Anything
Adam & The Ants - Prince Charming
Adamski - Killer
Anastacia - Left outside alone
art garfunkel - I only have eyes for you
Arthur Conley - Sweet Soul Music
B52s - Love Shack
Bee Gees - Night Fever etc
Bee Gees - You Should Be Dancing
Bee Gees - More Than A Woman
Bee Gees - Anything else from Saturday Night Fever!
Beyonce - Crazy in love
Bjork - Violently Happy
Blur - Theres No Other Way
Blur - Girls and Boys
Blur - Song 2
Bob the Builder / Lou Bega - Mambo No 5
Bobby Darrin - Mack The Knife, Beyond The Sea etc
Boney M - Rasputin
Boney M - Daddy Cool
Cameo - Word Up
Carly Simon - Nobody does it better (or other Bond!)
Chicago - All that Jazz
Daft Punk - Around The World
Darude - Sandstorm
Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Round
Delite - Groove is in the heart
Dexys Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
Elvis - Burning Love
Elvis - A little less conversation (JXL Radio edit remix)
Elvis - "Some of his greatest hits"
Eurhythmics - can't remember putting this down
Faithless - Insomnia, etc
Faithless - God Is A DJ
Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice
Fatboy Slim - "Everybody loves a 303", "Praise You" etc
Freak Power - Turn on Tune In Drop Out
Gorillaz - 19-2000
Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood
Grease - Hand Jive
Grease - Grease Lightning
Happy Mondays - Step On
Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing
Ini Kamoze - Here Comes The Hotstepper
James Taylor Quartet - Theme from Starsky & Hutch
John Travolta & Olivia Newton - Grease megamix
Kaiser Chiefs - Oh My God
KC And The Sunshine Band - That's The Way I Like It
Kernkraft 400 - Zombie Nation
Killers - Somebody Told Me
Kylie - Spinning Around
Kylie - Can't Get You Out Of My Head
Madness - Baggy Trousers
Madness - House of Fun
Madness - It Must Be Love
Man2man meets man parish - Male Stripper
MARRS - Pump Up The Volume
Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Michael Jackson - Beat it
Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
Nelly - Hot In herre
New Order - True Faith
New Order - World In Motion
Nirvana - Teen Spirit
Oasis - Supersonic
Peggy Lee - Big Spender
Pet Shop Boys - Alright
Primal Scream - Loaded
Prodigy - e.g. Charlie, Out Of Space, Breathe, One Love, Voodoo People etc
Pulp - Common People
Pulp - Disco 2000
Queen - (anything)
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Give It Away
Right Said Fred - Deeply Dippy
Robbie williams - let me entertain you
S Club 7 - Don't Stop
Scatman John - Scatman
Shamen - Move Any Mountain
Shamen - Ebeneezer Goode
Shirley Bassey - Hey Big Spender
Sonique - I Put A Spell On You
Spiller - Groovejet (if this ain't love)
Stereo MCs - Connected
Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam
The Carpenters - Weve only just begun
The Charlatons - My Beautiful Friend
The Grid - Swamp Thing
The Mighty Dubcats - Magic Carpet Ride
The Source featuring Candi Stanton - You've got the love
The Village People - YMCA
Tina Turner - Simply The Best
Tom Jones - Its Not Unusual
Tom Jones - Delilah
Tom Jones - Sex Bomb
Tone Loc - Funky Cold Medina
Tony Christie - Road to Amarillo
Toots and the Maytalls - Pressure Drop
Traditional - Hokey Cokey!
Trampps - Disco Inferno
Underworld - Born Slippy
Wildchild - Renegade Master

"Whatever - lots of funk, pop, indie, dance, hip hop, soul, etc etc!"

[ Thursday, June 02, 2005 ]

The Groom's Wedding Speech!
Starbuck [20:35] Comments: 11 []
Well, I have been lacking in electronic chatter of late, but I was all set to break that by doing something easy - rather than having to think on my fingers with a proper report, I have just emailed a copy of my Groom's speech to with the intention of linking straight to it as an example Groom's Speech for other prospective bridegrooms. No mess, no concentration, no editorial required - just a bit of soppy-speech filler for you lovely people who weren't able to join us on our big day. However, since the most recent speech examples were posted from June 2004, I reckon I'm not going to make it through the backlog.

So here it is in full. Aside from the masses of bits that I changed in bed the night before the wedding when I realised it was lacking a certain "something" - you'll just have to have the rough cut instead! And the "hilarious" improvisations aren't there either...

Although, as you will no doubt hear in a later report, I was not at all nervous about the day itself, I was a little bit cacking myself about the speech the afternoon beforehand, especially when I heard it would be recorded on video. I could hardly eat or drink over the wedding breakfast, which I assure you is most unlike me. But, unexpectedly, it went down an absolute storm, even if I say so myself...

--------------- "HUMOUROUS" INTRO ---------------

Thank you for those kind words, P... or should I say Dad!! And may I thank you for your good wishes, and for so kindly raising a toast to L and myself.

And although you mentioned L's parking faux-pas in your speech, she'll be very pleased that you didn't mention everything that she was concerned about beforehand. Yep, she'll be extremely glad that you didn't mention that time at the recycle bin where she had considered removing individual pages from her magazines, having seen a sign on the bin saying "no yellow pages"! On her behalf may I thank you for your restraint there!

Now, when L told me that a wedding very rarely passes without the Bridegroom having to make a speech, I quickly rushed to the internet for some research. As you do. Apparently there are websites out there with archives stuffed full of other people's tried-and-tested wedding speeches. Now my own research was brief, but it quickly became apparent that most of the speeches that you hear at these occasions are cobbled together from bits and pieces of other people's speeches. I thought that I'd use this opportunity to share this dirty little secret with you. Though don't worry - I would never do such a terrible, lazy thing myself, of course.

--------------- PRINCE OF WALES JOKE ---------------

Right, as Prince of Wales, it has often been difficult balancing my royal duty to the nation with my personal life with Camilla, now Duchess of Cornwall...

Erm, no wait, that's not right... [THROWS AWAY PAPER] I'll start again.

--------------- MORE HUMOUROUS INTRO ---------------
Seriously though, on the subject of Charles and Camilla, similar to Their Royal Highnesses there was some controversy about us not getting married in a church today. However I can reveal that the truth is that, considering the unique singing "talents" of my mother's side of the family, the thought of standing in front of their wall of sound during the hymns justifiably filled me with panic...

No, this speech should be easier than that. As groom I've been told not to worry about speaking as the audience would all be behind me. Which... makes me think... that... I'm facing the wrong way... [LOOKS ROUND]
Alright, OK, a very bad joke - I won't do too many of those today - I'll save that honour for the Best Man.


-------------------- FIRST THANKS --------------------

Right, as you might imagine, I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the occasion today. It's not that the magnitude of the occasion is dawning on me. Rather, it's the sheer pride and joy that I feel when I look over to my beautiful, wonderful bride. And I do feel so very lucky.

I also feel extremely lucky when I look out around the room and see so many of our family and friends here, and speaking on behalf of both of us may I thank you all for helping to make it such a special day - it means a whole lot to us that you can share our celebration. I tell you, the excitement has been building like nothing else over the last few weeks and months, and we've both been so looking forward to getting our family and friends together to help us celebrate...

--------------- HOW WE MET ---------------
... Family and friends.... [PAUSE] Yes... [PAUSE] friends. That's how it started for myself and L, of course.

It's traditional at these occasions to say how the married couple met. Well, the first time I met L was...well, I don't actually remember the first time I met L... she's always been somewhere in my world, even when I was too young to realise... thankfully some memories fade, and she doesn't remember me as a horrible screaming five-year old child having tantrums during swimming lessons.

No, we became proper friends at school, and for too long that's how it remained. However, looking back we've probably always wanted to be together. And after we'd left school, whenever the holiday seasons came round, it was strangely always a certain A and L tactically acting as the driving force for everyone to meet up.

However as friends it took some time for both of us to find the courage to follow our hearts, but since I moved to London a few years back the preparatory flirting started getting more intense! However, when I look back I can clearly trace where the next stage of our friendship started. I was feeling a little lost one evening, wandering along the bank of the Thames towards Tower Bridge. I'd recently introduced L to the joys of text - I SAID "TEXT" - on her new mobile phone, but that night she called me up for a chat, and she made me feel so alive again.

And from then on, our visits became more frequent, and we became much less hidden about how we felt for one another. I was especially keen to impress L on one visit she made to London and I pulled out all the stops. Having visited her in the Midlands for the Easter holidays, I drove her back down to London, showing off my collection of gangsta rap in the car along the way, gallantly took her to all the classiest Wetherspoons pubs in the centre, dragged her round the tourist sights... but alas, I didn't quite get the signals I wanted in return, the thoughts of romance being offset by constant complaints about her admittedly painful shoes.

I wasn't put off, however - I figured I could easily buy her some new trainers. And still, not wanting to separate, she didn't take too much persuasion to stay another mostly shoeless day when I asked... PLEASE DON'T READ ANYTHING RUDE INTO THAT!

--------------- HOW WE GOT TOGETHER ---------------

But the real origins of our relationship were a few weeks later, at our friends T and J's wedding. When I went to pick her up from her parents and she came downstairs all dressed to impress, I felt that I'd never seen anyone so beautiful in my whole life, and we proceeded to spend the rest of the weekend together much to the exclusion of everything else. Our friend M hit the nail on the head when he posted a wedding photo of us on his website jokingly captioned "the next couple"...

Not long after I made the first of a regular series of trips up to Birmingham to see her. Things had changed - we felt much more than friends... I remember that weekend so clearly - we had what felt like our first proper date together, a romantic meal in Pizza Express bookended by a few pints in some dodgy Irish bar, and we just talked and talked and talked. We talked about what music we would each have at each of our eventual weddings... we talked about the dream I had that Saturday night about us sharing a tropical holiday together, eating strawberries in the sun... we talked about the dinosaurs that I sensed around every corner - and even THAT didn't seem to worry her! We explored the Lickey Hills together, lieing chatting in the sunshine, both of us wanting to hold hands but both of us too shy to dare. I even offered to put my coat over a puddle for her (perhaps fearing more foot complaints!) Most pertinently, we talked about how couples try to overcome their inhibitions in order to get together in the first place - I span out a line about going to the cinema and pretending to stretch [STRETCH], just to put your arms around your date... and then we agreed that I would return to take her to the cinema the following weekend. And despite L insisting that I might stay another evening and drive back to London before work the next morning, we still had not said what we wanted to say...

Thankfully, further text messaging took us so close to the brink that L had to call to ask whether I was actually asking her out or not... thank God for modern wireless technology!

--------------- THE PRESENT ---------------

And from then on, every day of my life has been wonderful. She has lit up my world with her fun and her life and laughter, even on the gloomiest of days. I don't know if any of you have seen the film Before Sunrise, but the words of the Street Poet in the movie seem quite appropriate,
"Latched in life
Like branches in a river
Flowing downstream
Caught in the current
I'll carry you
You'll carry me"
- and its true - we hold each other up, through rain and shine, making every day seem brighter than the last.

This is why we are now married.


And so to today.

--------------- MARRIAGE ---------------

I read just the other day that the word "bride" comes from the Old English name for 'cook', while "groom" originated from 'male child'. [TURN TO L] So L, it's official - from now on I'll play the computer games whilst you do the cooking! THINGS ARE GOING TO CHANGE AROUND HERE!...

It's true that we will wake up tomorrow as the same people - the same couple - the same unit. However, as described in the words of my Uncle P's earlier reading, we will also wake up tomorrow feeling strengthened and fortified (hangover permitting).
"Marriage is a commitment to life - a promise. A potential, made in the hearts of two people who love, which takes a lifetime to fulfil." There's a lot of truth in those words. We will wake up as family. Although we ourselves already know that we want to be together for life, by celebrating our commitment today we wanted everyone else to know as well. And it does genuinely feel very much like the next exciting stage of my life, of our lives..

But that's enough about us for now, I've got some people I'd very much like to thank.

--------------- THANKS - GUESTS ---------------

Firstly may I thank you all for making the long journey through my speech! And on behalf of both of us may I reiterate our sincere thanks for joining us today, and for all of your generous gifts. Some of you will have travelled a long way to get here, and we appreciate the effort that you've made - we've got people here from Scotland, Ireland, Israel, France, Coventry... Expenses forms will be available from the Best Man.

--------------- THANKS - BEST MAN & USHERS ---------------

And talking of my Best Man, I would like to thank T for all of the help, support and friendship that he's given me over the last 14 years since we first met at University. T's been one of a number of people who've teased me about getting together with L when we were still "just good friends" - and he's been very patient over the last decade waiting for us to get together!

T has been instrumental in keeping me sane throughout my wilderness years, and I can't thank him enough for all that he's done for me. And as I want him to be kind to me in his later speech, T, please accept this token of my gratitude for everything that you've done to get me here today! [HAND OVER GIFT]

And not wanting them to feel left out, to my Ushers A and R and not forgetting my nephew J, there's a little something here for you as well if you'd like to come over to collect your gifts - many thanks for all your help. [HANDS OVER GIFTS]

--------------- THANKS - PARENTS ---------------

I'd especially like to thank both L's parents P and M and my own Mum and Dad for everything that they've done in making this such a wonderful day. Personally I'd like to thank my parents for the masses of love and support that they've given me over the years, and for always reminding me when I was a single man that "L's ever such a nice girl"! Honestly, I couldn't ask for more fabulous parents - I'm very lucky. And I couldn't ask for more from my second set of parents as of today, P and M, who along with L's brothers have welcomed me firmly into the bosom of their family, and what a nice bosom it is! And thank you, of course, for having brought L up to be such a wonderful, lovely and loving person without whom I would be utterly incomplete. L is as devoted to her family as I am to mine, and I assure you P & M that I am going to be devoted to your daughter for the rest of my days. And I'd like to present my mother and my mother-in-law with these small tokens of our appreciation and love [HANDS OVER BOUQUETS]

---------------THANKS - L ---------------

But there is one person who I would like to thank the most, and that is my beautiful wife. [TURN TO L] L, in our time together you have made me happier than I have ever been before in life, and by agreeing to marry me you have made me feel like the happiest man alive. I know that not a day goes by when I don't tell you that I love you, but today is the first time I can say "I love you Mrs P". Thank you for everything.

--------------- THANKS - BRIDESMAIDS ---------------

And finally, I would like to thank the bridesmaids, G and little K, both of whom I'm sure you'll agree are looking beautiful today as always. May I especially thank G for all the valuable help she has given us both in preparing for the wedding. You may not be aware, but the lovely invitations that you will have received were designed and single-handedly crafted by G alone, and we couldn't have hoped for a better job. On L's behalf I'd like to also thank her for the support that she has provided my wife not only for today but since the day she married into the M family herself. [HAND OVER GIFT]

And so, ladies and gentleman, before the most stressful part of my day starts - the Best Man's speech - may I ask you to charge your glasses and to be upstanding for a toast to... The bridesmaids!

(TOAST!) (sit!) (drink!)

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